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Six individuals honored at Service-Learning Recognition Breakfast

RELEASED: April 28, 2011

Service Learning LogoEAU CLAIRE — Six people and several community organizations received awards at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire's 13th annual Service-Learning Recognition Breakfast April 20 on campus. More than 300 community partners, 390 project supervisors and 285 UW-Eau Claire faculty/academic staff mentors also were honored for contributing to the success of the university's service-learning program.

Service-learning has been a graduation requirement at UW-Eau Claire for the past 15 years. The theme for this year's event was Quincy Jones' statement "Imagine what a harmonious world it could be if every single person, both young and old, shared a little of what he is good at doing."

Seniors Jordan Zweerink, a mathematics major from Maribel, Jessi McIntosh, a social work major from Cedarburg, and Jessica Jesswein, a sociology major from Germantown, received Student Excellence in Service-Learning Awards.

Zweerink volunteered at the 3-5 Club, an after-school program housed at First Presbyterian Church in Eau Claire that offers tutoring help to area students of all ages.

"Jordan is probably the best tutor we have ever had," said Barbara Rolland, who leads the 3-5 Club. "He understands all aspects of math and knows how to communicate this to students. His courtesy and genuine friendliness was appreciated by students, fellow tutors, math teachers and other volunteers."

McIntosh was a volunteer at Positive Avenues, a homeless shelter and social services organization in Eau Claire. Dr. Vanda Galen, professor and chair of the social work department, appreciated that McIntosh used her musical skills to engage participants at a mental health drop-in center in Eau Claire as part of her service-learning requirement.

"Jessi encouraged the musical talents of the participants and connected established musicians," Galen said. "These connections have continued beyond her service-learning hours."

Jesswein was honored for her service to Downtown Eau Claire Inc., Western Dairyland and Big Brothers Big Sisters.

"Jess Jesswein is one of the hardest working interns I have ever had the pleasure to supervise," said Karman Briggs, Western Dairyland's business center manager. "Jess showed enormous dedication and self-motivation toward guaranteeing the success of the Western Dairyland Women's Business Conference and she displayed a high level of professionalism when working with our staff and area business leaders."

The Excellence in Service-Learning as a Community Partner awards went to the Trinity Equestrian Center for their therapeutic riding program, which provides structured horseback riding sessions to children and adults with physical, cognitive and emotional disabilities; and Valleybrook Church's Warming Center, which provides a warm place for homeless individuals to take shelter and have something to eat.

Two service fellowships are awarded each year. The 2011-12 recipient of the Sally Webb International Service Fellowship for $600 was sophomore Alexandria Berg, a kinesiology major from Iola. Berg will serve at the Teshie Orphanage in Ghana, Africa, where she will plan craft activities and distribute "Healthy Me Healthy You — Hygiene and Health Kits." The kits contain supplies, including a toothbrush, small bars of soap, a wash cloth and a bag to decorate. Berg also hopes to have the opportunity to assist in health care clinics and educate teenage mothers and those who have dropped out of school about nutrition, diseases and education.

Ryan Prechel, a 2005 UW-Eau Claire graduate, gave a presentation for the Ryan Prechel Community Service Fellowship, a fund set up in Prechel's honor by his parents. The fellowship was presented to the UW-Eau Claire Circle K Club in the amount of $1,250. During Winterim 2012, 25 Circle K students will embark on a winter break alternative with Habitat for Humanity's Collegiate Challenge. The location has not yet been determined.

Mary Hyne Dipboye, a 1970 UW-Eau Claire alumna from Winter Park, Fla., received the David G. Anderson Community Builder Alumni Award, which honors alumni who have made a career working in the nonprofit sector. A $250 gift will be made to Ten Thousand Villages in Dipboye's honor.

Paula Gibson, of Eau Claire, a 1998 UW-Eau Claire alumna, received the David G. Anderson Community Service Alumni Award, which recognizes continued commitment to community service and volunteerism. A $250 contribution will be made to the Eau Claire chapter of the Alzheimer's Association in Gibson's honor.

The David G. Anderson awards were made available by the Ruder Ware law firm to honor David G. Anderson, a 1966 UW-Eau Claire alumnus and vice chair of Ruder Ware, in recognition of his community service and volunteerism.

Dr. Jean Pratt, UW-Eau Claire associate professor of information systems; and Patricia Stoffers, ESL coordinator in the UW-Eau Claire Academic Skills Center; received Faculty/Staff Excellence in Service-Learning awards.

Pratt was recognized for her work with the Trinity Equestrian Center, and Stoffers was recognized for her work with the university's Commanding English Program.

For a full listing of 2010-2011 outstanding students, please visit the website.

For more information about the UW-Eau Claire service-learning program, contact Dr. Donald Mowry, director of the Center for Service-Learning, at 715-836-4649.

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RD/DW

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